Best Wishes to Mark Uhran
As Assistant Associate Administrator for the International Space Station Division, Mark Uhran oversaw the transition within NASA from a focus on Space Station assembly towards science & technology research. This was the culmination of a distinguished career focused on mission integration & planning for the ISS and promoting the practical benefits of microgravity research.
Mr. Uhran was particularly devoted to the concept of creating a National Laboratory on-orbit that would bring new ideas and research concepts onto Station and lead to clear, tangible improvements for life here on Earth. His recent paper on the history of microgravity-related patents shows a clear relationship between patent growth and access to microgravity research platforms, with over 818 patents granted since the 1980s.
This clarity of purpose led to the creation of the ISS National Lab last year to fulfill the Congressional mandate and exercise available capacity on the ISS for other government agencies, academia, and private industry. While Mr. Uhran’s leadership at NASA will be missed, his exit comes at a time in which the ISS is thriving with new opportunities promoting microgravity in space and the ISS National Lab is honored to carry on his vision and legacy.
New Crew on the ISS
Astronauts Suni Williams and Aki Hoshide and cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko launched aboard the Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft on Saturday evening to make their way to the International Space Station. Early on Tuesday morning, they will join Expedition 32 Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineers Joe Acaba and Sergei Revin.
Williams holds the current world record for the single longest spaceflight by a woman (195 days) from her last trip to the ISS, where she also “ran” the Boston Marathon on one of the Station’s treadmills. In September, Williams will take over as Commander of Expedition 33 when Padalka, Acaba, and Revin return to Earth. She is only the second woman to do so, after current NASA Chief Astronaut Peggy Whitson.
Students around the world are eagerly awaiting the on-orbit phase of the YouTube Space Lab competition that will take place during Suni’s flight. The components are scheduled for launch aboard the Japanese HTV-3 cargo vehicle later this week.